Veterans memorial

Photo courtesy of Denny Lester

Construction on two new eight-foot panels in the Wyoming County Veterans Memorial commemorative wall is complete. Black memorial bricks on panel four have filled the space and panel five is nearly full, according to Denny Lester, project chairman. Granite, for the bottom portion of the new panels, has also been ordered and should be installed by the end of the month. Lester said the memorial will continue to expand as long as people continue to purchase the memorial bricks.

OCEANA – Construction on two new eight-foot panels in the Wyoming County Veterans Memorial commemorative wall is complete.

Black memorial bricks on panel four have filled the space and panel five is nearly full, according to Denny Lester, project chairman.

Granite, for the bottom portions of the new panels, has also been ordered and should be installed by the end of the month.

Lester said the memorial will continue to expand as long as people continue to purchase the memorial bricks.

Dedicated during Veterans Day ceremonies amid traditional military rituals, the memorial stands testament to the sacrifices of soldiers, as well as their families, from the nation’s earliest battles to the most recent.

Governor Jim Justice, along with several state representatives, were among the guest speakers.

The project is spearheaded by the Veterans Support Group in partnership with the Disabled American Veterans, Mullens American Legion Post, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Backed by the multi-panel black brick commemorative wall, the memorial also includes three six-foot-high “uprights” that carry the names of county soldiers who died in the designated war, along with memorial benches, and insignias of all the military branches – all in a semi-circle design.

County veterans who died in the Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and Middle Eastern conflicts are honored.

Each of the hundreds of black bricks in the commemorative wall honors a veteran – even those who do not, or have never, resided in Wyoming County.

The memorial bricks include the veteran’s name, rank, military branch, and years of service. Forms for additional bricks at $100 each are available from the veterans.

The bricks also include two honoring the county’s first settlers, John Cooke and Capt. Ralph Stewart, who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Additionally, a brick honoring James C. Justice, the governor’s father who grew up in Kopperston, is also included.

“We want it to be healing, not only for service members, but for their families,” Lester said previously.

The Veterans Support Group meets each Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the First Baptist Church basement in Oceana. All veterans are welcome.

To purchase a brick or for more information, contact Denny Lester, Veterans Support Group, at 304-923-7803 or Bill Elkins, DAV, at 304-953-3200.

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